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February's Coach of the Month Is...

By The Coaches Site, 02/22/24, 10:30AM EST

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Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site

This season marks the sixth year of the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site. We asked for nominations of deserving coaches and after much deliberation, Kyle Erb of the Twin Centre U9 Local League team was selected as the Coach of the Month for February.

Know someone who should be Coach of the Month? Click here to nominate them.

Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Kyle is absolutely amazing with our boys. He always has such a positive attitude - always encouraging each and everyone to be the best that they can be without any undue pressure. Coach Kyle always has a smile, never raises his voice and always manages to make each player feel special. He has introduced and taught them so many new skills this season (along with the amazing three other coaches). The boys absolutely love their team. Their camaraderie is just a delight to witness - whether it is concerned for an injured player or a pep talk for our goalie after a goal against - all fostered by coach Kyle. Even when we lose, the boys exhibit a love of the game - they are having fun first & foremost. Twin Centre Stars are having an amazing year as a team thanks to Coach Kyle. He is AWESOME!

What is your background in hockey and coaching this team?

I have played and followed since I was 5 years old. Like a lot of young kids in Canada, it was all I ever dreamed of doing. When I wasn’t playing hockey at our local arena in Wellesley, Ontario, I was playing on the street, pond or watching on tv. Hockey has been a prominent part of my life and continues to be. When my son began playing hockey, I knew coaching young players was something I wanted to do. I was able to gain valuable experience the past three years as an assistant coach, and this year when the opportunity to become a head coach was presented, I was ready for it. During my time as a coach, I have been fortunate to get to know the players, their families and see them develop each successive year which is really enjoyable.

How do you create a love of the game with hockey’s youngest players?

Hockey teaches you many important lessons that translate off the ice - teamwork, friendship, effort, and fair play. Most importantly win or lose we are all there to have fun and respect others. It is important for everyone involved in hockey whether it be players, coaches, or fans to keep that in mind. At the end of the day, it is a game, so go have fun with it!

What methods have you found that work with young players who may get frustrated easily?

My coaching staff and I focus on positively reinforcing what they do right during each game or practice. Reminding them they are doing a great job and pointing out the skill learned is being applied properly goes a long way. It is important to remember they are young players being put in new situations almost every time they are on the ice, so they most certainly are not expected to know exactly what to do in every situation.

How do you create practice plans that keep your team focused and engaged each session?

I believe it is important to put practice plans together that incorporate many different aspects of the game. Every practice, we focus on three segments of the game - individual skills, team play and hockey systems/set up. Running drills incorporating each of these aspects keeps the players engaged. Our time on the ice is very valuable. Every drill we run in practice presents a teaching moment for the players. I often remind them we are only on the ice for one hour, so it is important to make the most of it. It goes a long way keeping the players alert and ready to play!

SUBMIT YOUR COACH OF THE MONTH NOMINATION

Please note that all previous submissions are still eligible for upcoming Coach of the Month awards and do not need to be resubmitted.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Coaches Site is comprised of individuals who have first hand experience in hockey as players, coaches, managers and parents from minor hockey, to junior hockey, international competition and all the way to the NHL. The Coaches Site offers a platform that supports coaches and a positive competitive culture at rinks around the world.

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